Well I went in for a simple alignment that was quoted to be only $59.95, before signing the work order I proceeded to read the fine print at the bottom, you know the fine print that nobody ever reads. This seemed to annoy the service agent at the desk because he said several times just sign right there.
Well i had stated on the application that i would like to be notified in writing if the charge would be more than $65.00. Low and behold i get a phone call, because I decided to go get something to eat instead of waiting there. I get a list of everything imaginable that's wrong with my car that totaled $1300.00, they stated we can't do your alignment until all this other work is complete. I told the serviceman I would be there to pick up my car get the estimate and see what my warranty would cover.
I arrive at the shop and the guy wants to charge me $20.00 buck for a diagnostic charge, that just came out of the air, because no where did it state there would be a fee for the written estimate. I told the young man at the counter that I did not request a diagnostic, i requested an alignment, and if you couldn't do that i should have been called upon your obvious visual inspection of the problem, which then i would have told you thank you, it is not in my budget to have all this work done.
He went to go get the big honcho because this seemed to be something he couldn't resolve on his own. The manager comes out and I ask him to explain why he wants me to pay for a diagnostic i did not request, (mind you I stipulated that they call me prior to doing anything that would go beyond the $65.00 dollars I budgeted for this service.
He couldn't explain to me why I should pay for something i didn't request and through the keys at me and said don't come back, we don't want your kind in here, there were three other black customers in the store and they left when I did.
I went to two other auto shops after I left, to give them the benefit of doubt, and none of them found anything in the written estimate that needed done except my alignment!
So if your in Charlottesville, stay far way from Merchants Tire & Auto center unless you have a confederate flag on your hood!